Queensland scientists develop sweetener with “almost no calories”

DO YOU like the idea of a natural product that will satisfy your sweet tooth, without the weight gain?

The call has gone out to food and beverage companies keen to develop a new sugarcane-based product, that has almost no calories.

The product, known as PlantZap, is a sugarcane extract developed locally by scientists at the Queensland Government’s Health and Food Sciences Precinct.


The Government is promoting PlantZap as a product that could significantly reduce the calorie content of soft drinks, energy drinks, juice, dairy foods and other food products, while increasing sugar mill output.

“With the focus on health and nutrition, adding PlantZap to foods and beverages provides sweetness without the extra calories, making it an ideal additive for a huge range of foods,”Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said.

“Imagine how appealing that would be for food manufacturers and consumers.”

Mr Furner said the next step is finding a commercial developer to take the product forward.

“We’ve released an EOI to identify companies with the ability to commercialise the technology, either within Australia or globally,” Mr Furner explained.

“This could be of interest to sugar mills, food and beverage companies, or food additive suppliers.

“We are looking for a company that would initially invest in a pilot plant co-located with a sugar mill to produce small commercial quantities of PlantZap for consumer trials.

“The market for such a product is enormous. However, as always, the challenge is to find the right commercial partner.”

Interested? Click here for PlantZap EOI information. The closing date to respond to the EOI is 31 May 2019.